Winter Appalachian Trail – Day 30 (16 miles)
I woke up at the hotel in Atkins. I peaked outside. It was snowing and incredibly cold but the dump of snow predicted appears not to have eventuated. There is only an inch fallen so far.
I went back to bed and tried to sleep for a bit longer. I gave up on this after 30 minutes and with the success of yesterdays bath, I decided to take another. It was almost as good.
The rest of the morning was spent playing around with my phone to try and figure out what has been causing the massive battery drain over the last few days. I spent a bit of time talking to the manufacturer to see if it was hardware related, but deducted it was software and more specifically the Appalachian Trail Weather Forecast App I recently downloaded.
I then packed up and headed out into the cold for only long enough to get to the restaurant around the corner for a late breakfast.
As I eat the snow stopped falling, the clouds cleared and the temperature dropped further. I was trying to force myself to have a low mileage day, but all I wanted to do was get hiking.
At 12.30 I gave up on waiting the extra half hour I had planned and headed out. The wind was bitter but not very strong and I had a frozen beard within a few minutes in the 10F (-12C) temperature. But above me was only blue ski. I would take this scenario over walking through clouds any day.
I spent the afternoon wandering over small ridges before heading down in order to cross a farm in the valley. There was nothing beautiful, but the constant changes from forest to farmland made the day interesting enough.
With a couple of miles to go before camp the sun began to set. Without the sun the temperature noticeably dropped into the single digits (-12 to -15C). Luckily it was a climb to finish off the day to keep me warm without having to put on more layers.
I got to the shelter and set up as quickly as possible in order to jump into my sleeping bag and not loose my hiking warmth.
Do mice come out to play in such cold temperatures? I don’t particularly want to get out of my sleeping bag to hang my food!